Monday, March 16, 2009

Much Given . . . Much Required


“Duliece, if there was one thing you could change in your life . . . what would it be?”

Always missing the presence of two children, and both parents; considering the tragedy and brutality of their deaths and how difficult those times had been . . . recalling the sinful life led in my youth . . . I
carefully answered : “I would change nothing.”

My boss looked at me in disbelief, shook his head . . . and walked away. Inwardly smiling, I thought of the many, many blessings I had received in my lifetime. I silently thanked God for giving me the correct, but no doubt confounding answer. To the materialistic, secular mind and heart, God's answers sound foolish. But one must consider all the facts, causes and effects, and possible outcomes, to even think about altering the history of one life. I would not assume the responsibility of changing a single moment in time.

Without loss . . . there can be no gain . . . without failure . . . no success. Without giving . . . none can receive . . . without forgiving . . . there is no forgiveness. For every action, there is a reaction . . . this is an undisputed, universal rule that applies in every circumstance and in every life. Reflection on the past is prudent, if one is to acquire wisdom for the future . . . else there is no future . . . only constant repetition of the past. To relive the past is useless.

The most important laws of life can be the simplest ones to follow. These are great truths often overlooked in moments of grief or trauma, and in excitement or pleasure. The simple code that God instituted in His great Creation . . . the equations spoken into existence at the beginning of time . . . are universal laws that enable survival, one day at a time. These timeless rules can be absorbed and used in our race through this life; or they can be rejected and cast aside, leaving us at the starting line . . . always jumping the gun . . . repeatedly starting over . . . never reaching a destination . . . eternally seeking to finish and rest.

Realizing that the Word of God are not just vacant words written to baffle and confuse the ardent student of life, is a great joyful revelation. People really do reap what they sow. All things really do work for the good of them that love the Lord and seek His guidance. He will always make a way of escape, when we find ourselves in unbearable situations. We can forgive them that cause us great harm, just as He forgave us our trespasses against Him. God really does raise up a standard before us, when the enemy comes in like a flood. He will never leave us or forsake us, nor can anything or anyone separate us from Him, or His love.

God allowed the apple of His eye, His perfect Son, to be shamefully ridiculed and to suffer the agony and mutilation of His precious Body. He solemnly watched, as His only Child died in the most horrible, deprecatory manner as Jesus sacrificed Himself for the very people who hated and murdered Him. There is a reason why God chose this manner to pay the price for the sins of humanity. To take a childs place in suffering is the natural instinct of a parent. We would die for our own children in a heartbeat. To willingly hand over your own beloved child to those who would do them harm is an unnatural act. To let that child suffer humiliation and great agony, as you willingly stand by watching? This kind of love is completely foreign to us . . . an act beyond our comprehension. It is a wondrous thing, God’s solution for our sinful condition. He, Himself. . . perfection . . . was the price. So God willingly gave His Son, and His Son willingly gave His Life, for you and me we could be with Him for Eternity.

Could I have knowingly, willingly handed over my only firstborn son, Robert, to the people who murdered him so brutally? Whomever took the life of my beautiful, young son and his friend . . . more than likely a person who never spent one moment wondering about the enormous pain and sorrow he caused; could I, with a sincere heart, ask God to forgive him? Could I hand over my perfect little Tina to be tormented, tortured, and murdered, then forgive the perpetrators who caused the death of that innocent, precious baby? We, as earthly beings cannot fathom the kind of love required to make such a selfless sacrifice. And what about Reba, the woman that killed my father? Could I refuse her entrance to heaven?

What if their salvation were left up to me? What if their salvation depended on my forgiveness? Could I deny a man the same grace that God has shown me? Could I question his right to salvation and negate his place in Heaven? As a true believer in the God given Word . . . I cannot. I cannot judge them . . . I cannot reject them. By His grace, I not only must, but do forgive the woman that murdered my dad . . . I do forgive the man that murdered my son. Through Him . . . I can do what is required of me . . . what He expects me to do. I forgive them in His Name, just as He forgave me. It is the desire of my heart that they will be saved and come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise, even as I do.

God pardoned much, when He pardoned me. His priceless Gift of Grace, prepared from the beginning of time, cost Him everything . . . and to whom much is given . . . much is required.